Home > Parenting > Child > News 02 May 2013 Milk-allergy kids may be 'allergic to school' The milk protein casein is often used in low-powder chalk, which could trigger respiratory symptoms in students that have a milk allergy, a study has found. 0 iStock Related Many children eventually outgrow milk allergy Dairy and allergies: be alert Allergic children may tolerate warm milk TALK Parenting forum » ASK The Paediatrician » Follow Health24 on Facebook » Quiz Are you ready for a baby? » Baby born as truck kills mother Beautiful short film about radioactive contamination in Japan Many of today's school teachers opt for dustless chalk to keep hands and classrooms clean. But according to a study published in the May issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), this choice in chalk may cause allergy and asthma symptoms in students that have a milk allergy.Casein, a milk protein, is often used in low-powder chalk. When milk allergic children inhale chalk particles containing casein, life-threatening asthma attacks and other respiratory issues can occur. "Chalks that are labeled as being anti-dust or dustless still release small particles into the air," said Carlos H. Larramendi, MD, lead study author. "Our research has found when the particles are inhaled by children with milk allergy, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath can occur. Inhalation can also cause nasal congestion, sneezing and a runny nose."Common allergy Milk allergy affects an estimated 300,000 children in the United States, according to the ACAAI. Although it has been believed the majority of children will outgrow milk allergy by age three, recent studies contradict this theory, showing school aged children are still affected. However, 80% of children with milk allergy will likely outgrow it by age 16."Chalk isn't the only item in a school setting that can be troublesome to milk allergic students," said James Sublett, MD, chair of the ACAAI Indoor Environment Committee. "Milk proteins can also be found in glue, paper, ink, and in other children's lunches."Even in the wake of whiteboards, overhead projectors and tablets, chalk is a classroom staple that likely won't become extinct anytime soon. Parents with milk allergic children should ask to have their child seated in the back of the classroom where they are less likely to inhale chalk dust, advises Sublett."Teachers should be informed about foods and other triggers that might cause health problems for children," said Sublett. "A plan for dealing with allergy and asthma emergencies should also be shared with teachers, coaches and the school nurse. Children should also carry allergist prescribed epinephrine, inhalers or other life-saving medications." EurekAlert More in Parenting Childhood obesity brings future health problems More: ChildNews SPONSORED: So many prizes! Click through and see our fantastic competitions. advertisement Get a quote Momentum - save up to 35% on healthcare advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Add your comment Thank you, your comment has been submitted. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Medical Sierra Leone's top doctor dies of Ebola News Life expectancy in SA drops by 4.3 years Medical 5 interesting facts about osteoporosis Medical Removing blood clots improves stroke recovery Medical Neurologists unsure on use of medical marijuana for brain disorders Medical 'Clot-grabbing' improves outcome for stroke patients From our sponsors Uncontrolled periodontal disease and diabetes – a collective health risk? Exam stress – a challenge for the whole family Eduloan offers affordable education finance Live healthier Medical bills » GP and money Cut medical bills Medical savings account Medical scheme: what is a self-payment gap? Have you exhausted your day-to-day benefits and moved into your self-payment gap? Here's what it means. Allergy alert » Allergy myths Cold or allergy? Children and allergies Allergy facts vs. fiction Some of the greatest allergy myths and misconceptions can actually be damaging to your health.